The Hilliard Darby High School football team continued to take care of its business in hopes of earning a playoff berth.

The host Panthers turned back an early threat from Delaware and then found a flow on offense en route to a 35-0 win Oct. 20.

Quarterback Jack Stultz rushed for 109 yards and four touchdowns as Darby improved to 6-3 overall and 3-2 in the OCC-Cardinal Division. Delaware fell to 3-6 and 1-4.

“Jack has really started to make some nice, steady progression and tonight he made good reads and kept the ball, which is what (Delaware was) allowing us to do defensively,” Darby coach John Santagata said. “Delaware did a real nice job all the way around. They started strong and our defense started slow, but we got it together.”

Darby was 10th in the Division I, Region 3 computer ratings entering Week 9. The top eight teams qualify for the postseason.

“We’ve talked just a little about (the playoffs), but unless we take care of business, it doesn’t really matter what everyone else does,” Santagata said. “We do need help, so we just do what we can do.”

The Panthers, who have won four games in a row, will close the regular season Oct. 27 at Dublin Scioto.

“We’re just going to continue to work hard in practice next week and see what happens,” Stultz said. “We played pretty well tonight and seemed to put things together.”

The Pacers took the opening kickoff and drove to the Panthers’ 3-yard line before Ian Coverstone intercepted a second-and-goal pass by Delaware quarterback Blake Eiland at the 2.

Darby then went 96 yards in 13 plays, capping the drive with a 15-yard touchdown run by Grant Hollinger on the second play of the second quarter. On Darby’s next possession, Stultz ran 54 yards for a touchdown to give the Panthers a 14-0 lead.

Delaware then turned the ball over on downs at the Darby 35, and on the ensuing possession, Stultz capped an 11-play, 65-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown run with 59 seconds left in the first half.

Stultz was 3-for-4 passing for 32 yards and Hollinger had 70 yards rushing on 13 carries for Darby, which had 316 total yards to 116 for the Pacers.

Eiland rushed for 48 yards and threw for 61 yards on 8-for-15 passing but was intercepted three times. The Pacers also lost two fumbles.

“We looked good early, but we made some young mistakes and had some turnovers that just piled things on,” said Delaware coach Mike Golden, whose team moved the ball on two of its first three possessions. “But we started eight sophomores and a freshman, so the future is bright for Delaware.”

bemerine@thisweeknews.com

@Brad_ThisWeek

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Team 1 2 3 4 Final DELAWARE 0 0 0 0 0 HILLIARD DARBY
0 21 14 0 35

HD—Hollinger 15 run (Sawicki kick)

HD—Stultz 54 run (Sawicki kick)

HD—Stultz 2 run (Sawicki kick)

HD—Stultz 1 run (Sawicki kick)

HD—Stultz 1 run (Sawicki kick)